ProCharged LS AWD Cutlass Takes On LS7-Powered VW Passat

The Hoonigan’s This or That series on youtube is one of our favorite shows to watch on the internet. In this program, the guys will put an unlikely pair to the test in what starts as a heads-up 1/4-mile drag race. After the first race, depending on the outcome, the Hoonigan team will switch up the rules in order to make the race fair. Sometimes, they will give additional car lengths to the loser or have done a roll race. No matter the result, this competition is highly entertaining to watch. 

Brian King, the owner of Brians’s Paintless Dent Repair, has a knack for building some pretty wild things on his YouTube channel. He’s constructed an LS engine out of plexiglass, and most recently, he made a guitar out of old laptop parts and epoxy. He also is good with carbon fiber, and his handy work is displayed on his 1982 Oldsmobile Cutlass that he built. If you’re not familiar with this car, we suggest you check it out. Not only does the Cutlass feature a plethora of carbon fiber goodies, but it also has a Texas Speed & Performance ProCharged 427, cranking out 840 horsepower to the wheels. Oh, and there is one other minor detail, it’s all-wheel drive. While the AWD was not a factory option for this Oldsmobile, you would have a tough time convincing most people otherwise. It’s so meticulously built that the Cutlass doesn’t show its true colors until you see it lunch.

 

We received a text message from King, and usually, this is a good sign that we will get to watch a cool video of one of his wild projects. He sent a link that took us to the Hoonigan page, which showed his car was used on the This or That challenge. The AWD Cutlass would be going up against Tanner Foust in his 2015 Volkswagen Drift Taxi Passat. You might be thinking, “What? An LS-swapped AWD Cutlass is racing a VW Passat?” While this sounds absurd you should know that the Passat is no slouch. This full-on race car houses an 850 horsepower naturally aspirated LS7 engine with a 4-speed dog box transmission. The rear-wheel-drive car is also 800-pounds lighter than the ’82 Olds. Even with more horsepower and less weight, we expected that the poor German machine would get slaughtered in a heads-up 1/4-mile drag race. But, anything can happen.

The two cars lined up for round one, and as soon as the starter’s arms dropped, the race was over. King’s Cutlass did just what we expected it to do, which was LAUNCH. The AWD ProCharged machine lept out in front, and it was all over for the Drift Taxi. For round two, the drivers agreed to go from a roll. King gave Foust a one car length head start and still managed to steamroll past the yellow VW. For the final race, the Passat would go from a roll, and the Cutlass would go from a dead stop. As the Volkswagen passed King’s car, it was apparent that the Cutlass would not be able to make up the difference, especially after King experienced tire smoke and had to pedal the car. This was the only time that the LS-swapped Passat managed to beat King to the finish line. 

What is really impressive about this matchup is that the AWD Cutlass of King was able to beat a professionally built race car. Granted, the VW was a little out of its element since it is a drift car, but it was taken down by a street car. And one that King built in his garage with a mash-up of carbon fiber ’82 Cutlass and some Trailblazer SS parts. How’s that for a little American ingenuity? 

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About the author

Brian Havins

A gearhead for life, Brian is obsessed with all things fast. Banging gears, turning wrenches, and praying while spraying are just a few of his favorite things.
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